IYT Family and Community,
Nearly three months ago, the House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to address deep-rooted systemic racism in law enforcement. Despite this move for accountability and transparency to eliminate discriminatory policing practices, our communities bear witness again to another tragic shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.
As our nation demands structural reform to centuries of police brutality and violence against Black people and a reckoning on racial justice, it happens again. We have spent over a decade watching unarmed Black males die on video. Stephon Clark. Eric Garner. Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Walter Scott. Ahmad Arbery. George Floyd. The list can go on, and on, and on.
We are mournful and angered. We add our voice and demand justice.
According to Keylen Newsome, a young man of color in our IYT U program, "the dignity of human life is not something that should be reduced to political and social media debates, but rather should be a self-evident truth upheld by the laws of this country. There is no more time to debate and see how bad the problem will get, but it is now time to validate the dignity of human life with the laws that govern this nation, even if it doesn't make it into everyone's heart.”
There is a long list of racial inequity injustices that need to be addressed for true healing in our nation. Police brutality, mass incarceration, shorter average lifespans depending on the neighborhood you live in, voter suppression, and educational inequity to name a few.
As an organization, we demand our political leaders to address these historic inequities in Black and Brown communities and take action in creating safe and thriving communities for our youth. And in turn, this is what we commit to do: never give up. To forge a vision for our nation in which men of color are underrepresented in the criminal justice system, overrepresented in higher education, and are leaders in our communities.
Our brothers deserve more. Our families deserve more. Our communities deserve more.
We WILL NOT stop until our vision becomes a reality.
Co-Founder and CEO